Amazon said on Thursday that it was searching for a second headquarters in North America, a huge new development that would cost as much as $5 billion to build and run, and would house as many as 50,000 employees.
The announcement, which is likely to set off jockeying among several major cities, signals the latest step in the rapid expansion for the online retail giant. It recently completed its biggest-ever acquisition, of the high-end grocery chain Whole Foods, and embarked on a major hiring drive, adding tens of thousands of new employees.
The company, which is based in Seattle, listed a series of requirements for the new location, including a city that has a population greater than one million, Ã¢Â€Âœa stable and business-friendly environment,Ã¢Â€Â and a location that was able to attract and retain workers. The company is calling the development HQ2.
Ã¢Â€ÂœWe expect HQ2 to be a full equal to our Seattle headquarters,Ã¢Â€Â Jeff Bezos, AmazonÃ¢Â€Â™s chief executive, said in a statement. Ã¢Â€ÂœAmazon HQ2 will bring billions of dollars in upfront and ongoing investments, and tens of thousands of high-paying jobs. WeÃ¢Â€Â™re excited to find a second home.Ã¢Â€Â
The company said it was inviting proposals for its new site, which it said could have a similar layout to its Seattle headquarters, including an urban or downtown campus.